It isn’t even the end of October and already we’re talking about Christmas, writes David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council and Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ipswich.
It’s no exaggeration to say that this is a very important time of year for retailers. For many, the profits they make in the six weeks leading up to 25th December are what tide them over for the rest of the year.
We always ask retailers how they would like us to help them at this crucial time and the message, loud and clear, is that they want the priority to be cheap travel promotions.
It is a source of disappointment that there is still a perception among some people that car parking is expensive in Ipswich.
As an aside, this seems to be entirely down to the phenomenally expensive, and very prominent, NCP car park behind M&S. Why people pay £3 an hour to park there when, literally a minute’s walk away, council-run Crown Car Park only charges £1 an hour is beyond me.
We’ve been running cheap travel promotions throughout the year to counter this and the message is starting to get through but we’ve been able to do even more to help shoppers and retailers this year.
On Sunday 16th November it will only be £1 to park all day in the Council’s car parks.
On that, and every subsequent Sunday up to Christmas, we are subsidising Park and Ride so it is free all day.
Council car parks will be continuing the Quids In park after 3pm for £1 on weekdays throughout the Christmas period.
Ipswich Buses are also continuing their Quids In travel in to Ipswich after 3pm for £1 promotion.
And, for the first time, we have also managed to get First Bus to join Quids In, so they too will be running the same promotion over Christmas.
(All this and a Christmas lights switch on too…!)